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Wednesday News, April 22

Governor Branstad To Visit Plymouth County Farm Today

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to visit a Plymouth County farm this afternoon to officially proclaim this week as "Soil and Water Conservation Week".  Its part of the celebration of today's "Earth Day".  Bob Puetz of Le Mars will be hosting the governor.  Puetz has implemented many different methods of soil and water conservation on his farm.  He offers a glimpse as to what will occur later this afternoon.

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Puetz is a staunch supporter of the Pheasants Forever organization, having served as the President of the Plymouth County Chapter for five years.  He says the organization assisted him by planting trees near his livestock production facilities.

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The Plymouth County farmer says he performs no-till for his crop production as a way to conserve soil and topsoil moisture.

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Puetz says he has terraces, grass waterways, and buffer strips, all in an effort to save soil and protect the ground water supply.  He says his soil conservation efforts have made a positive difference on his farming operation.

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Again, referring to Pheasants Forever, Puetz has planted some native prairie grass for wildlife habitat, as well as to act as a buffer for runoff.  He encourages other farmers to implement soil conservation methods, but realizes when commodity prices were high, there wasn't as much of an incentive.

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Puetz says his soil conservation production methods have not only saved the soil from erosion, but it has saved him some money. Governor Branstad is scheduled to be at Puetz's farm at 2:30 p.m.


Gehlen Representatives To Speak At Lunch And Learn Session

(Le Mars) -- Today's Lunch and Learn session to be held at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream parlor at noon will feature representatives from Gehlen Catholic Schools. Father Kevin Richter, president of Gehlen, Jeff Ahlesh, high school principal, Lori Nussbaum the elementary principal, and Development Director, Lisa Niebuhr are all scheduled to speak at the session. Lunch and Learn is jointly sponsored by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County and the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Main Street Organization.  Ticket price is $15 and you can make reservations with either the Extension office or the Chamber office.

City Council Sets May 5th For Public Hearing On Weidler Tenants

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council has set the date of May 5th when they will hold a public hearing on the lease agreements with the tenants currently occupying Weidler Hall.  Plains Area Mental Health and Mid-Sioux Opportunity are the tenants of the building.  Following the hearing, the city council will make the decision whether to enter a five-year lease agreement with the current business tenants.


Sioux City Police Make Arrest On Hit-And-Run Accident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have arrested a 74 year old man in connection with the hit and run accident that injured two juvenile girls last Saturday. Thomas Scheitler of Sioux City has been charged with Aggrevated Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident due to the injuries suffered by the victims.
House Passes Transportation Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has passed a $365.2 million transportation bill, one of several budget bills requiring floor votes before the end of the legislative session.
The Republican-controlled House voted 93-2 Tuesday in support of the budget, which would cover the fiscal years ending in 2016 and 2017. It now heads to the Democratic-led Senate.
The bill's funding will go to the Iowa Department of Transportation, which oversees expenses for the state's motor vehicle division and its highway division, among other things. Money for the department will come from two road funds that do not collect from the state's general fund.
The budget bill approved Tuesday does not include new money from a law passed earlier this year that increased the state's fuel tax by 10 cents.

House Passes Branstad's Broadband Internet Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved Gov. Terry Branstad's bill aimed at expanding broadband in the state, though some lawmakers say the legislation still needs work.
The House voted 89-5 Tuesday for the bill, and it now heads to the Senate.
The legislation would create a 10-year property tax relief program to help service providers with the cost of adding infrastructure for broadband, also known as high-speed Internet. A grant program would be funded with federal and private dollars.
A broadband bill failed last session over concern about tax incentives. This year's bill is more limited.
Rep. Peter Cownie, who led the bill on the floor, says it's a good step in expanding broadband. Rep. Jo Oldson says she hopes to see some language changes to the property tax relief program.


 

   

Tuesday Afternoon News, April 21

Arrest Made On Sioux City Hit And Run Accident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have arrested a 74 year old man in connection with the hit and run accident that injured two juvenile girls last Saturday.  Thomas Scheitler of Sioux City has been charged with Aggrevated Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident due to the injuries suffered by the victims.

 

 

 

Iowa's Unemployment Rate Falls

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state report released Tuesday shows Iowa's unemployment rate dropped for the third-straight month this year, down to 4.0 percent in March.

Iowa Workforce Development data shows the rate improves upon February's 4.1 percent and the March 2014 rate of 4.4 percent. It is also under last month's national average of 5.5 percent.

Iowa lists approximately 1.65 million people as employed in the state, 600 more than in February and 25,500 higher than last year. The report also shows the education and health services sector posted the most job gains in March with an increase of 2,300.

Agency director Beth Townshend says consistent growth in Iowa's nonfarm workforce shows such employment has expanded to an all-time state high, boosting the overall number of nonfarm jobs to about 1.57 million.

 

 

 

Five Upstart Businesses To Compete For Development Contest

(Le Mars) -- Northwest Iowa Development is holding a contest which encourages entrepreneurs to create new small businesses.  The program is referred to as "Dream Big - Grows here".  Le Mars Chamber and LBIC Executive Neal Adler serves as a director with the Northwest Iowa Development.  He says the program has been active for several years.

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There are five finalists within northwest Iowa.  They include: American Hero Clothing from Michelle Sanderson of Larchwood, Marto Brewing Company from Erik Martin of Onawa, Dave Winslow is presenting the Jackson Street Brewing from Sioux City, Mud on Main is a new business in Aurelia and is being presented by Jessica Kannegieter.  The fifth finalist is TreePans from Bill Brown in Akron.

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Adler says there were more than 20 businesses in northwest Iowa competing for the "Dream Big - Grow Here" contest.  The winner from northwest Iowa will advance to the state competition.  Each of the five will have the opportunity to present their idea to a panel of judges in Sioux City.
Numbers Are Lowered For Chickens Infected By Bird Flu
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of chickens at a northwest Iowa farm that will need to be killed because of the bird flu virus has been reduced to 3.8 million.
Sunrise Farms announced Tuesday that it houses 3.8 million laying hens, all of which will need to be killed after a routine test confirmed the virus in the flock. That's less than the 5.3 million that government officials had estimated Monday.
The chickens will be killed and composted on the farm as part of the containment process.
The Iowa infection is the latest to hit eight Midwestern states, where the virus is dooming about 6.3 million chickens and turkeys.
The virus is deadly for birds, but appears to be little risk to people.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Veteran's Home
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - The wife of a former Iowa Veterans Home resident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility, alleging its staff didn't properly care for her husband.
Sharon Greer, who is representing Rose Wilson, tells the Marshalltown Times-Republican that the lawsuit stems from medication issues and how care was handled after Vern Wilson allegedly fell at the veterans home located in Marshalltown.
A representative at the facility declined to comment on the allegations and pending lawsuit, which was filed April 10. The Iowa Attorney General's Office didn't return a message from the newspaper prior to publication Tuesday.
The Iowa Veterans Home is the largest in the U.S. and the only such facility in Iowa. It houses and cares for eligible veterans and their spouses.
Dependent Adult Abuse Arrest
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City caretaker tasked with caring for several dependent adults at a group home has been accused of slapping a mentally disabled resident.
Police say 62-year-old Christopher Ngu Tangang was arrested Monday and charged with dependent adult abuse. Online court records indicate Tangang's case has been assigned to the public defender's office but don't specify an attorney who could be reached for comment on his behalf.
Police say the resident tried to enter the kitchen at the house April 8 when Tangang allegedly grabbed the man and shoved him into a bedroom. A police complaint says Tangang then scolded and slapped the man in the face "with an open hand."
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a supervisor reported the incident.

 

 

   

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